How Do Soundproof Panels Work? (A Detailed Guide 2020)


soundproof panels

When I moved into my new apartment then the first thing, which I found troubling was a lot of echoing due to the large size of my living room. However, I came across the idea of reducing the echo with soundproof panels and it worked in a surprisingly effective way for me.

So, I decided to share my experience of soundproofing the room with the soundproof panels along with their costs and the different types (that will work!).

What are Soundproof Panels?

Soundproof panels are either foam-like or fibrous material, used to dampen the sound and reducing the echo. They are pasted on the wall or ceiling for acoustical solutions.

Due to their foamy material, they perform well in absorbing the sound, which ultimately results in a reduction in echo and noises in the room.

While fibrous panels can be very helpful in blocking the sound in their fibers.

You can use them inside your

  • Living room
  • Studio
  • Office
  • Any other place that requires sound-dampening

Rooms that are larger in area, have so much echoing, so the possible and effective solution to reduce that echo is having these soundproof panels placed on your wall.

However, every sound panel has a different structure, material, and function. Along with sound-absorbing, you can also use them to block sounds in your room, office or any other building.

So, in order to understand better, it is important to know the difference between sound-blocking materials and sound-absorbing materials.

Sound-blocking Materials Vs Sound-absorbing Materials

 

sound blocking vs sound absorbing

People always seem to be confused about sound-blocking and sound-absorbing materials. However, you just have to keep it simple.

Anything that blocks the sound from transferring is a sound-blocking or sound-proofing material. While a material that reduces the echo is a sound-absorbing material.

difference between sound blocking materials and sound absorbing materials

Now, you will be thinking whether these panels are sound-blocking or absorbing? Well, they either act as one of them or sometimes both.

If you are interested to learn more about sound-blocking and sound-absorbing along with their materials then click here to read a comprehensive article from acousticalsurface.com.

Some soundproof panels have a quality to block as well as absorb the sound. So, keep on reading the article to have deep insights into these amazing panels.

Different types of Soundproof Panels

There are two main types of soundproof panels:

  • Sound-absorbing panels
  • Sound-blocking panels

Choosing a panel depends on your soundproofing needs and budget.

Down below, I have discussed them from every aspect in order to give you detailed insights into these soundproof panels, so keep on reading and get your problem solved today.

1. Sound-absorbing Panels

As the name suggests, these panels are meant to absorb sound. They have a foamy material that is flat in shape from the back but angled from the front.

You can use them in room, office, or somewhere outside to dampen those irritating noises.

Acoustic foam panels are the most commonly used sound-absorbing panels, which are further divided into two types:

Wedge Design

wedge acoustic foam

These soundproof panels come in wedge or ridge design. Their dimensions are:

  • Size: 1 square feet
  • Thickness: 1 inch

You can use them anywhere in your house, office, or studio for reducing the echoes and dampening the sound as well. Due to a thickness of 1 inch, you can only use them for small sound-absorbing functions.

However, if you cover the whole of the wall with them, then they will give you amazingly better results of sound-dampening.

You can get these panels in stunning colors and great quality on Amazon, get yours now online by clicking here.

Egg Crate Foam 

egg crate acoustic foam

If you want to have some extra duty from sound-absorbing panels then egg crate foam can be a better option. They come with more thickness and larger size than the wedge design panels.

  • Size: 4 x 2 square feet
  • Thickness: 3 inches

You don’t need to install many of them on a single wall due to their large size and effective sound-dampening properties. Thus, you can save more if you buy these panels.

Click here to check out the latest price on Amazon.

2. Sound-blocking Panels

Sound-blocking panels are made of thick and dense materials, which are usually not flexible in shape. You can get them in two forms:

  • Soft panels
  • Hard panels

The main usage of soft panels is usually inside the wall, while hard panels can be used on outer surfaces to block the sound.

These are expensive than the sound-absorbing foam panels and also require a professional to install them perfectly.

The most commonly used sound-blocking panels are fiberglass panels.

Fiberglass Panels

fiberglass panel

These are thick and inflexible sheets made from reinforced polyester or some other fibrous material.

Hard fiberglass panels are potent at blocking the sound, while the softer version of fiberglass panels work more effectively at absorbing the sound.

Along with soundproofing, you can also use them to insulate your building.

How do Soundproof Panels Work?

Soundproof panels can absorb and block sound due to their porous and hard materials. So, when a sound wave strikes the panel’s surface then it absorbs the wave or either reflects it back.

This process of sound-dampening is quite simple and inexpensive.

Moreover, you can soundproof your studio or room with these panels due to their elegant look and affordable price.

But for that, you should know how these panels work, and will they be able to fulfill your requirements of soundproofing or not.

1. Sound-absorbing Panels

Let us start with the sound-absorbing panels first. When the sound waves strike any hard surface then they get reflected back, thus you get an echoing effect in the room.

However, due to the porous construction of these panels, sound waves are absorbed by them and do not witness any kind of echo in the room.

At first, I also found it pretty confusing, how these acoustic panels are able to absorb sound. But after having proper research, I found these answers:

Sound-absorbing process

  • Sound waves travel in the form of vibrations through the air.
  • These vibrations either get reflected or absorbed by a material in their way.
  • Foam has the ability to absorb the vibrations.
  • The moment these sound waves strike the foam, it absorbs them due to its porous structure.

Shape of Panel

Along with the porous construction, the shape of the material is also important. You will notice that most of the acoustic foams are shaped from various angles.

The reason for doing so is, when a sound wave strikes a flat surface then it bounces off of it. However, the angled shape of soundproof panels absorbs the sound wave more efficiently as long as they have foamy material and greater curves.

Besides, it is very important to note that you can increase the efficiency of sound-absorbing panels by using them on both sides of the wall or any other structure.

By doing so, you will be able to dampen the sounds coming from both sides, thus soundproofing becomes more effective.

2. Sound-blocking Panels

You will find sound-blocking panels both inside and outside the walls and ceilings. Moreover, they do not let the outside and inside noises to pass through the walls.

Let’s see how they work.

Science of sound-blocking

The thick and dense material of these panels do not let the sound waves penetrate through them. These properties make them super effective at blocking the noises.

Another good feature of these soundproof panels is, they are also good insulators of heat energy. So, in my case, I really prefer them, as I live in a very cold country(Sweden).

However, when these insulating properties work together with sound-dampening then you get very good sound-blocking results.

Shape of Panel

Sound-blocking panels are bigger in size than the sound-absorbing panels. They can cover the whole of your wall easily, thus giving you better results.

Moreover, they are made of thick and dense material that helps to block sound waves and let you enjoy the peaceful moments.

Along with the hard panel shape, you can also get them in the form of quilted fiberglass panels. These quilted panels are mostly used to soundproof doors and windows.

 

How to Install Soundproof Panels?

You can install soundproof panels on walls and ceilings with adhesive(sticky material) or nails. It depends on the type of panel you are using.

  • Sound-blocking panels are usually installed with nails or screws.
  • Sound-absorbing panels are installed with the help of adhesive or double tape.

I have personal experience of installing both the panels, so I am going to share it in the later texts.

1. Installing Sound-absorbing Panels

Let’s discuss the installation process of fiberglass panels which come under the category of sound-blocking panels. They are very easy to handle and install.

Besides, you don’t need any professional to install them for you. Just gather the panels around and get your tools ready.

  • First of all, measure the length of your wall and cut the panels accordingly.
  • Then wipe down your wall with rubbing alcohol to remove dirt from it.
  • Spray the backside of the foam with adhesive spray if your panel doesn’t have any double tape or adhesive at the back.
  • Place the foam at its required place on the wall.
  • Press it against the wall and hold for 30 – 40 seconds.
  • Continue adding more pieces of the acoustic foam until you fill the desired area.

2. Installing Sound-blocking Panels

Here we have fiberglass panels when we are discussing the installation of sound-blocking panels. They usually require professional help to get installed in a correct way.

The process of installation includes:

  • Measuring the area of the wall before it is constructed.
  • Filling up of all the inner space of the wall with soft fiberglass panels.
  • After the wall is constructed, the process of installation of hard fiberglass panels starts.
  • You can install the hard fiberglass panels by yourself too.
  • Clean the outer surface of the wall.
  • Use glue to stick the panel with the wall because adhesive may not be effective on these panels.
  • Finally use nails or screws to attach the panel firmly with the wall.

Do Acoustic Foam Panels Work?

Acoustic foam panels work on the echoes and vibrations due to sound waves. They can help you a lot in dampening the sound by absorbing it.

This simple experiment will let you know whether these foam-like structures can actually help you dampen the sound or not.

  1. Get a decibel meter and a bell.
  2. Take a medium-sized wooden box.
  3. Now ring the bell inside the box and measure the intensity on sound with the decibel meter.
  4. Let’s assume that it gives a reading of 50 decibels.
  5. Now cover all the inner space of that box with some foamy structure(resembling the acoustic foam).
  6. After you are done, repeat the same procedure ringing the bell.
  7. You will find that the reading on the decibel meter will decrease gradually.

So, this experiment proves that you can clearly improve the audio situations in your room by doing a whole lot of different things like these.

Find out how this guy was able to improve the sound quality in his recording room with the help of acoustic foam panels.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZ6Op9alOXs

Do Fiberglass Panels Work?

Whether molded inside or installed outside a wall, the main objective of fiberglass panels is to block sound and they do it very efficiently.

But how will you find the effectiveness of these sound-blocking panels?

Well, let’s find it too by an experiment.

  1. Have someone ring a bell from the other side of your wall.
  2. Record the reading on the decibel meter.
  3. Now visit some studio or any other building that you know has these fiberglass panels installed in their walls.
  4. Repeat the same process of ringing the bell from the other side of a wall.
  5. You will see that a decibel level has decreased to a great extent.

However, this whole process of sound reduction is due to the thick and dense material of the soundproof panels. This material doesn’t allow the transfer of sound waves through them, thus providing you better sound insulation.

soft fiberglass panel

How much do Soundproof Panels Cost?

 If you are looking for a cheaper way of soundproofing your room then soundproof panels are one of the best options to go for. They can cost you from $20 to $100.

Moreover, it depends on what type of panels you use and how many of them are you willing to purchase. I found them very affordable and easy to handle.

You can also purchase these soundproof panels online for your soundproofing experiments as they are not that expensive to make you feel regret of loss.

Down below I have mentioned some of the major types of soundproof panels along with their essential details.

Name Size Quantity Price Source
Acoustic Foam Pyramid design

 

48 X 24 X 2 inches

 

Pack of 2 $100 Amazon
Acoustic Foam Panels Egg Crate Foam

 

2 X 12 X 12 inches

 

Pack of 12 $29 Amazon
TroyStudio AcousticFiberglass Panel

 

400 X 300 X 28 mm

 

Pack of 2 $20 Amazon
Owens Corning 703 Fiberglas Acoustic Insulation

 

48 X 24 X 2 inches

 

6 pieces $100 Amazon
Double Faced Quilted Fiberglass Panel

 

4 X 4 ft 1 piece $68 Amazon
Acoustical Ceiling Fiberglass panel

 

48 X 24 inches

 

Pack of 12 $100 Amazon
Acoustic Panels Studio Foam Wedges

 

1 X 12 X 12 inches

 

Pack of 12 $20 Amazon

Can I Make Soundproof Panels at Home?

You can easily make soundproof panels at home with the help of simple material and tools.

They have a huge impact on the overall sound quality which we have discussed earlier. Now, I will be telling you how to build a set of very high-performance acoustic panels that absorb incoming sound waves, preventing them from being reflected back.

  • The first thing we’ll tackle is making the frames that give the panel’s such a modern slick appearance.
  • Use angled aluminum bars for the frame.
  • Once you’ve got six bars of equal length it’s time to attach them together.
  • So with the frame now complete, we need to fill it with something that can absorb the sound waves.
  • Get a glass wool or any other insulating material for filling up the frame.
  • Mark the shape out with a pen carefully
  • Use a bread knife in one direction to cut through it as this is a quick and easy to do and results in a nice clean edge.
  • Use the glue to stick the soundproofing material with the frame.
  • Now cover the whole of the frame with a fabric to give it a final touch.
  • Finally, hang this smart acoustic panel on a wall or any other place that needs to be soundproofed.

In addition to performing really well, they look great too and when mounted onto the wall they give a modern slick appearance.

Wrap-Up

The overall usage of soundproof panels is to reduce the impact of vibrations and echoes created by sound waves. You can use different types of soundproof panels to fulfill your soundproofing demands and another good thing about them is, they are quite affordable.

Moreover, they are very easy to install, which do not require any professional to help you out, and you can even make your own panels at home.

However, you just have to choose a suitable material for fulfilling your soundproofing needs. Some materials are sound-blocking, while others are sound-absorbing.

Along with soundproofing qualities, soundproof panels have very elegant and stunning designs. When installed in any room or office, they enhance the ambiance of that area.

Although soundproof panels are quite helpful in dampening the sound but they can not withstand alone against the loud noises. For that, you have to install other soundproofing material like thick curtains, green glue, and mass loaded vinyl.

However, if the combination of soundproof panels with other materials doesn’t work out then try soundproofing other areas of your house like:

1- Soundproofing Windows

2- Soundproofing Doors

3- Soundproofing Ceilings 

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